Syria`s new PM sworn in before Assad

Syria`s newly appointed Prime Minister Wael al-Halki was sworn in on Saturday before the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Last Updated: Aug 11, 2012, 17:04 PM IST

Damascus: Syria`s newly appointed Prime Minister Wael al-Halki was sworn in Saturday before the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the state-run SANA news agency said.

Assad appointed al-Halki Thursday after sacking the former breakaway Prime Minister Riad Hijab, who defected last Sunday and sought refuge in Jordan.

Halki, a 48-year-old gynecologist, acted as secretary-general of the Baath party``s branch in the southern Daraa province between 2000 and 2004. He was appointed as head of the doctors`` syndicate in 2010 and later served as health minister.

The defection of Hijab, despite attempts by the government to downplay its significance, is considered as a humiliating blow to the recently-formed government.

On June 6, Assad issued a decree entitling Hijab, former agriculture minister, to form the new government. Hijab announced the formation of his cabinet on June 23.

ANI